‘Say it with flowers’: a 1920s US ad-man’s masterpiece and raison d’etre for the booming floral business we know today. But even before the modern consumerist’s appetite expanded, the world has long believed in the art of communicating through flowers. Just think of Shakespeare and the meanings connected to Ophelia’s bouquet: the English daisy representing gentleness; rosemary for remembrance and the ultimate of insults within the language of flowers – flowering fennel and columbine, the perfect pairing of flattery and foolishness. Floriology at its simplest.
Even in the stringent depths of Victorian society, lovers would often revert to floral arrangements to express feelings that words simply couldn’t. Coded visual love letters that captured what etiquette would have outlawed. There’s such a secret appeal and beauty in this. From being a teacher of English for 13 years, I’ve learnt to help people communicate their feelings and ideas through words, but sometimes, let’s be honest, either they aren’t enough or we just don’t know what to say - sometimes even…lost for words. Which is where the Victorians seem to have it nailed: beautiful, mesmerising, poignant and sentimental, say it with flowers…and just a little help with the right words to seal the deal.
Even Anthology’s very own personal favourite flower (and featured logo) – the ranunculus – seems to capture the very essence of the language of flowers, with its simple, yet heartfelt meaning, saying ‘you are charming’ or ‘you are attractive’. Perhaps, somewhat surprisingly, roses have not originally been the dons in the world of romance, instead harnessing their meaning in joy, friendship and good health. But with their everlasting romantic appeal, centuries of fans of the classic bloom have propelled it into everyone’s standard vocabulary of love, with even its varying shades possessing unique and particular meanings.
Which I guess brings me back to the essence of Anthology – a way of curating the perfect flowers to really bring a message across to others – whether for an event, a launch, an intimate celebration or simply to express you. The language of flowers really can help to a beautiful visual to our emotions, particularly at those moments when words alone just won’t cut it. Perhaps, in a world often consumed with too much chatter, we really need to listen with our eyes as well as our ears to hear what is truly